2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off for Lincoln Elementary

Sponsored by the Solano Association of Realtors, Lincoln Elementary will enjoy the proceeds that are raised in the 2nd Annual Chili Cook-Off. The event will take place on Saturday, September 22nd from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at Team Chevrolet, located at 301 Auto Mall/Columbus Parkway in Vallejo.

Admission is $20.00. Come enjoy great chili and help one of our local schools!

See the attached flier for more information.


Walk-throughs & Evaluations

VEA recognizes that teachers and other educators value and appreciate timely feedback on their teaching practice. We are in support of the Superintendent’s directive that school site administrators should be visible on their campuses and should be visiting classrooms daily.

As VEA and the District works to develop a working agreement on walk-throughs and the District’s re-opener on Article 11: Evaluations, unit members should be mindful of the following:

Administrators can come into any classroom at any time to do an “informal” observation/walk through. They can take notes. However, these walkthroughs cannot be used for evaluative purposes. I am suggesting members do two things.

First, members should politely approach the administrator and request that a copy of the notes be placed in their mailboxes. If they are told “no,” then members should put their request in writing and ask for a response in writing.

Second, when the administrator leaves, members should briefly document the visit – what was the teacher and/or students doing, date, who was the visitor, etc.

If administrators are making the claim that these walk-throughs are non-evaluative, then the only way to make sure of this is for unit members to protect their contractual rights and be assertive in asking for their documentation. If they refuse and members document on their own and anything relating to a walk-through turns up on an evaluation, this may invalidate the evaluation.

Contractual Language on Observations:
11.2.5 Observations
If an observation, either formal or informal, is to be used as a basis for a final evaluation, it shall be in accordance with the following provisions. A formal observation is defined as a classroom observation preceded by at least 24 hours notice to the unit member. All observations shall be documented on the Observation Form. (This can be found in the back of the contract.) Classroom observations shall be a minimum of twenty (20) consecutive minutes. A post-observation conference will be held within four working days of each observation. The post-observation conference may be postponed by mutual agreement. Each written observation report shall be based on at least one classroom observation by the evaluator. The observation report may include self-evaluation by the unit member. All observation report(s) shall be attached to the final evaluation.

An informal evaluation is defined as a classroom observation which complies with all of the provisions of this section except

Class Size Overages

NOTE: Please remember that class sizes for secondary revert back to class sizes from the 2005-08 contract.


To: All VEA Unit Members

From: Christal Watts, VEA President


Re: Overages


As we all know, the start of the school year is very hectic for a variety of reasons. There is much to do from learning about our new students, doing effective and engaging lesson plans to the daily tasks of grading papers and the routine paperwork that needs to be completed. Unfortunately, it also means for many of us class sizes that go beyond the contractual limits.


According to Article 10.2 (pg. 73) of the VCUSD/VEA Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), “at the beginning of the year the site managers shall have ten (10) student days to adjust class sizes or caseloads. On the eleventh student day, unit members who are over class size maximums shall notify their site manager. The site manager shall have five (5) consecutive student days to arrive at a class size or caseload relief for the unit member. This shall also apply at the beginning of each trimester at Adult School.”


The 10th day for the 2012-13 school year is Friday, August 31st. That means that the 11th day is Tuesday, September 4th – due to Labor Day falling on September 3rd. Unit members will need to start reporting overages on the 11th day and will start getting paid for these overages. As it states above, Site Managers then have five additional student days to adjust class sizes within the contractual limits. This includes any unit member teaching a 1.2 contract as unit members teaching a 1.2 are most likely beyond the contractual limits on student contacts. (See below.)


Under 10.2.4 of the CBA, unit members with overages “shall be paid at the rate of $15.00 per student per day (elementary) or $3.00 per period per day (secondary) starting the day that the manager was notified that the overage occurred.


ln no case shall any unit member carry students over their class size/caseload maximums for more than 15 student days without the approval of the Association.


Counsetors with caseload overages will be paid at the rate of $0.19 per student, per day. This figure was arrived at by dividing $3.00 (classroom teachers’ pay for an overage) by 160 (maximum student contacts) which equals $0.1875, rounded to the nearest cent.


Unit members are encouraged to complete daily overage reports starting on the 11th day in order to ensure accurate reporting and payment. Please see the attached document for reporting overages. Make sure to keep a copy for your records and provide a copy to your VEA Site Representative. (If you do not know who your site rep is, please call the VEA office at 864-6193.)

Our flawed national policy on education

Diane Ravitch posted to a story in Education Week. This is what she had to say about the story she had linked to:

Every once in a while, I read something that rings as true as a perfectly pitched bell or a fine piece of crystal.

Every once in a while, a clear-headed thinker assembles all the pieces of what is happening around us and puts it all together into a sensible and compelling analysis.

Go over and read the article and then, share it with everyone you know. The easy answer to the crisis in education is to blame the teachers. It will take much more hard work and a willingness to examine our society to make a long-lasting impact to the challenges we face in public education.

There is a reason that we lose 50% of teachers in their first five years of teaching and money is very rarely listed as the reason for leaving. Rather, the top reasons for leaving are due to poor working conditions and lack of respect or support from administrators.

Vallejo Teachers back to school this week!

School may start back Monday August 20th for Vallejo students, but their teachers have been working hard all summer in order to best serve the students they teach.

Vallejo Teachers will be returning to work this week, starting with optional staff development days beginning tomorrow. However, for many teachers, the summer break meant an opportunity for them to become better at their craft. Teachers took a variety of professional development courses, including learning about the Common Core. While contractually Vallejo teachers only have one paid day of prepping their classrooms, most have been working the past few weeks in getting their classrooms ready for their students.

Katie V., a teacher at Cooper Elementary enjoyed her professional development opportunities which included training in Math as well as taking the “Emerging Leaders” track at CTA’s Summer Institute. Other teachers took part in “Positive Behavior, Interventions and Support” (PBIS) and “Guided Language Acquisition Design” (GLAD) trainings, such as teacher Kevin S. at Highland Elementary. Other teachers took trainings on Board Math, Differentiated Learning, Content Area Language and Literacy, such  as Jen Z. at Mare Island Physical Fitness Academy and Cheryl T at Vallejo High.

Other high school teachers, such as Scott H. and Rob R., participated in trainings that will help the District in its vision for Academy High Schools. Scott H., a teacher at Bethel, did a week long training at UC Davis’ History Project Technology Institute and Rob R., a teacher at VHS, participated in his school sites’ Engineering Academy Project.

As noted on this website, Vallejo teachers also attended several events this past summer in order to strengthen their union, which helps them to become better advocates for their students and their colleagues.

Teachers also worked this past summer developing new lesson plans or tweaking their lesson plans to make them better for the upcoming school year. While there is the misconception that teachers do not work during the summer months, many of Vallejo’s teachers would state that this is unequivocally not true for them.

Summer Institute

A group of VEA Leaders will be in Los Angeles this week to attend CTA’s Summer Institute. These leaders will be studying a variety of topics including common core, legal rights of members, and bargaining. Be sure to check this website & Facebook & Twitter for updates, which may or may not include candid photos!

Information on 2012-13 VCUSD Buy Back Days

This is per Cheri Summers, Chief Academic Officer, regarding our Optional Buy Back Days on Tuesday and Wednesday, August 14th and 15th. This information is being mailed out to all certificated staff.

GEARING UP FOR 2012-2013

Optional Staff Development Days

August 14-15, 2012


Site based professional development will be held at many of our sites.  Certificated staff members will receive agendas from the site administrators.  Training will be held at:

August 14: BH, CA, HI, LV, MI, PA, VC, WA

August 15:  BH, CA, DM, FT, HI, LV, MI, PA, PE, SM, VC, PHS


Specialized professional development on August 14 and 15 will be held for several groups.  If you are scheduled to attend one of these trainings you will be informed by your site administrator and you will be provided an agenda.

Restorative Justice @ Location to be determined

Middle School STEAM @ Vallejo High School


If you are not being provided site based or specialized professional development you may attend the K-12 professional development sessions being held at Vallejo High School.  The agenda for this event is on the back of this page.  Please note: This event is available ONLY to those not provided one of the sessions above. 


Certificated staff attending any of the above events will be paid $250 per day according to the VCUSD Contract with VEA.  

K-12 Choice Sessions

August 14-15, 2012

Vallejo High School

The following sessions will be offered:

Math Content: K-2, 3-5 and 10-12

Common Core Standards: K-12

ELD Curriculum: K-5

Classroom Procedures: K-12

Exceptional Lessons and Lesson Planning: K-12

Literacy in the Content Areas: 4-12

Differentiated Instruction: K-12


The following AGENDA will be followed both days:




Choice Session A


Lunch will be provided


Choice Session B 

Yes, Learning is Messy & Teachers DO want accountability

Dana Goldstein explains why corporate education reform is not a good idea in this “The Nation” video.

Important Information on the 2012-13 Student Calendar

Please note that the loss of instructional/pay cut days (aka furlough) are only IF Proposition 30, “The Save our Schools and Public Safety” initiative fails.

The only exception are the two dates in November, which are right before the November election.

Parents & Certificated Staff should NOT make plans that cannot be changed if the Prop 30 passes as those days after the November election will NOT be taken.

To do today: Sign this online petition

To be delivered to: The United States House of Representatives, The United States Senate, and President Barack Obama

Education should be left to educators. Please work to ensure that education policy is created by educators, and not by corporations or politicians.

Public education policy in the United States is under attack from a variety of directions. Corporate influences want to push for a for-profit model to tap into what they see as an untapped source of income. Misguided “reformers” want to push to end basic due-process protections for teachers in a quest to root out the insignificant numbers of “bad teachers.” Politicians continue to push for “teacher accountability” while ignoring the accountability of the parties that control student achievement the most; parents and students. Meanwhile, our education system, our dedicated teachers, and our students all suffer further degradation of their morale.

Go and sign the online petition and then share it with your friends, family, and colleagues!